US government investigates rollaway Mercedes ambulances and Amazon trucks

Washington, D.C. – August 30, 2021 – The arm of the U.S. government that regulates vehicle safety is conducting an investigation to determine whether Daimler’s (OTCMKTS:DMLRY) will have to conduct a recall of its Mercedes-Benz Sprinter vans that may roll away when the vehicle is in park.

The investigation focuses on 19,000 vehicles of the following models, specifically those configured as ambulances or Amazon delivery vans:

  • 2019 Mercedes-Benz  Sprinter Vs30
  • 2019 Mercedes-Benz Sprinter 2500
  • 2019 Mercedes-Benz Sprinter 3500
  • 2019 Mercedes-Benz Sprinter 4500

 Consumer complaints

On August 3, the regulator, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) opened this investigation based on 11 reports of vans rolling away after the vehicles were put in park. One owner of a fleet of Mercedes 2500 Sprinter vans complained that the vans rolled away after 10 minutes of idling. Other complaints described vans rolling away not long after the driver had gotten out, crashing into other parked cars, and even a house.

The potential defect already resulted in one injury, according to NHTSA’s information.


Rollaway vehicles with no driver at the helm can crash into pedestrians, other vehicles, or buildings, making this a significant safety hazard to people inside and outside the vehicle. NHTSA is aware of eight crashes and one injury related to this issue. 

Read more about the process NHTSA uses to evaluate these risks in this article about the administration’s ongoing investigation into Dodge and Chrysler minivans.

Prior Mercedes recalls of Sprinter vans

In December 2020, many of the same Sprinter models were recalled for a brake fluid leak that weakened the vans’ braking power, increasing the risk of a crash.  Sprinter vans were recalled again in June over faulty side airbags.

Will your vehicle be part of a recall?

Around 19,000 vans could be implicated in a future Mercedes Sprinter recall. To see if your van is one of them, bookmark MotorSafety’s free vehicle lookup tool and check back for open recalls in the future.

Rebecca RandUS government investigates rollaway Mercedes ambulances and Amazon trucks